The High Court of Telangana held that ‘want of cross-verification details’ can be no ground to withhold a refund for an infinite period.
The petitioner, M/s ACC Limited was assessed to Sales tax during the years 1979-80 and 1980-81 on the turnover relating to packing material i.e gunnies under the Andhra Pradesh GST Act, 1957 vide order, the original adjudicatory authority levied tax at basic rates of 3% and 8% on packing material and cement respectively and completed assessment for 1979-80. A similar order was passed for the assessment years 1980-81.
Subsequently, the above orders were revised by the Deputy Commissioner (CT) on the ground that the Commercial Tax Officer had levied basic tax at 3% instead of 8% on packing material, and so an additional demand was raised by Form B-3 demand notice.
In spite of the order passed by the court the amount was not refunded to the petitioner. The petitioner, therefore, seeks a refund from the respondent.
The division bench comprising Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao and Justice T. Amarnath Goud observed that the respondents had withheld the refund for 11 years on the ground of ‘want of cross-verification details’ which is not a ground mentioned in Section 33-C for withholding the refund due to petitioner.
“A refund withholding order must invariably specify (as per Sec.33C) the period of time during which it will be in force and a refund cannot be withheld indefinitely as has been done in the instant case,” the bench ruled.